Pros: Good sound; great comfort; great looks
Cons: Slight hiss; steep price
Beats claims, "Music as the artist intended," and "You're not hearing all the music.." This leads me to expect that I will make new discoveries in familiar music when I listen through Beats headphones.
I indeed have heard new things in old music with Beats, listening to songs I have listened to DOZENS of times on my other headphones (Sennheiser HD 598, Parrot Zik, Apple In-Ear (their best), Klipsch s4i, and others). In about 25% of familiar songs I hear something new with Beats, spanning genres of classical, hip hop, electronic, and others.
I take this to mean that the headphone sound quality is at least comparable or perhaps better than these other headphones. It is also much better than that of the original Beats Studio. The headphones are my most comfortable and are awesome at noise cancellation. While being large enough to be "over ear," they are small enough to be light and comfortable and do not fall off your head when doing such repetitive motions as scrubbing or vacuuming.
One quirk is that the headphones are turned on by plugging in their cord... an unfortunate result is that if you just take the headphones off, they remain on, unless you pull out the cord (or turn off the power switch). Leaving the cord in without turning them off depletes the battery and requires recharge.
These headphones have turned me into an aficionado of both hip hop music and Beats products. I have just purchased both the wireless version of these headphones as well as the Beats Pro headphones, taking advantage of the "Buy 2 Beats for 10% off" special ending Feb. 8, 2014. I have also purchased the Beats premium audio in my new FIAT Abarth (fabulous!) and am subscribed to the new Beats Music streaming service.
But I recognize that they are not the high-accuracy headphones that provide the best listening experience, with transparency, good sound stage, and precise spectrum. Hence, I have also purchased the similarly-priced NAD VISO HP50. I'm looking for diversity of listening experience as I augment my headphone collection to 20.
Audio Quality: 4/5